Bishop Beckwith on Marriage Equality

Bishop Mark Beckwith of the Diocese of Newark has an op-ed piece in today’s New Jersey Record in which he calls for the state legislature to vote for the Marriage Equality Initiative making its way through the New Jersey Senate. He emphasizes the need for legal protections for same gender couples and points out that our understanding of the legal construct of matrimony has been changing over the years.

He ends by sharing some of his own experience from when he was a priest in Massachusetts:

“As much as marriage equality is about civil rights, it is also about the importance of supporting family values. To have the law, and one’s community, recognize and support a family, especially in times of crisis (which the current Civil Union law does not provide), provides a level of stability for everyone. And the marriage equality bill honors the religious and civil rights of those who are licensed to perform marriages, but are opposed to same-gender marriages, by not requiring them to do so.

Before returning to New Jersey three years ago, I served a church in Massachusetts, which was the first state to introduce same-gender marriage. Since 2004, when the new law went into effect, Massachusetts has continued to lead the country as the state with the lowest divorce rate. The feared threat to marriage has not materialized. Families are stronger when all families are given the full support of the law. New Jersey should do the same.”

From here.

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